What You Need to Know About NASCAR Betting

How to Bet

2023-03-22

Ethan Tremblay

With a huge fan base in North America and many races occurring virtually weekly at various racetracks from February until early November, NASCAR betting is one of the most attractive betting choices for motorsports enthusiasts.

What You Need to Know About NASCAR Betting

NASCAR operates numerous racing series and formats, with the Truck Series, Xfinity Series, and Cup Series being the most popular. All of these races are available for NASCAR betting at most bookmakers.

It's not hard to learn how to wager on NASCAR if you keep an eye out for certain things each week. For those eager to get their wagering adventures underway, here are some expert NASCAR betting tips and suggestions to get you going.

How To Prepare For NASCAR Betting

To succeed at NASCAR betting, you need to know how the developments in the weeks leading up to an event can change the outcome. 

Most bookmakers release their NASCAR odds at the start of the week. Sprint Cup Series teams qualify and perform additional practice sessions once the gates open.

Both drivers and teams use these sessions to prepare their vehicles for qualifying and fine-tune them for the race. Betting sites remove NASCAR odds from the display before qualifying and re-post them with the latest information on race day.

Qualifying

Your NASCAR betting strategy must consider qualifying because it can affect the race's outcome. 

The Starting Position

Starting position is vital, but it varies according to the racetrack.

Track position is critical at some circuits with only one racing groove, such as Bristol Motor Speedway or Martinsville Speedway, since passing other racecars is difficult. The groove is the fast lane on the racetrack. Therefore, racecars become stuck in one lane on one-groove tracks, but drivers can easily pass on two- or three-groove tracks.

On one-groove courses, a driver can preserve their energy later in the race if they get a solid start and don't need to labor too hard to make up ground on their rivals. However, starting position is less critical at the bigger racetracks like Michigan International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, where speedier cars can make smooth passes.

Pit Stall Selections

Pit stall selection is also determined by qualifying and is just as crucial as the driver's starting position. The pole position winner is given the first choice of pit stalls, followed by the drivers who qualified second through fifth. This is crucial since there are typically nicer pit stalls in some sections of the track than others.

Most pole-winning teams choose the final pit stall at the end of the pit road. That's helpful since it means their drivers won't have to wait while other vehicles are moved out of the way before they can leave when the jack is dropped, and the servicing is done. You'll find a few stalls with gaps in their backs or fronts on most tracks. These make it easier for drivers to enter and exit their pits, resulting in quicker pit stops and better track times.

There are some racetracks where a good pit stall is just as crucial as a strong starting position. There are often collisions on the pit road at Martinsville due to the cramped quarters and limited space. Pocono Raceway features a fairly wide pit road, reducing possible accidents.

Learning how to bet on NASCAR means doing your homework on the NASCAR track before making any wagers. The betting public often places too much weight on the driver's starting position and rewards those who start at the back of the pack. When the Sprint Cup Series is racing at one of the bigger racetracks where overtaking is simple, and the pit road is broad, this knowledge might provide you with a significant advantage.

Practice

Practice times for each Sprint Cup team are made public each week, including the quickest lap times and top average speeds. If you're interested, you can watch these events on Speed Channel. This is where viewers can get the inside scoop from drivers and crew chiefs on their favorite race cars through in-depth interviews.

When analyzing practice speeds, pay special regard to final practice, often known as Happy Hour. This is the last opportunity for teams to fine-tune their cars before race day and provides the clearest picture of who will succeed and underperform. In addition to being the last opportunity for Sprint Cup teams to check their cars' handling, final practice is the session that most closely simulates race day's green flag circumstances.

There is a huge impact of the weather on a car's performance during a race, and optimizing the car's setup for the weather can make or break a driver's chances of winning. Lower track temperatures boost tire grip, resulting in faster lap times. Tires become hot and greasy when temperatures rise, causing cars to slide as they race. So, keep an eye on when the real practice rounds are and which session's weather variables are the most like green flag conditions when creating your NASCAR betting strategy.

NASCAR Betting Types

On race day, once qualifying and practice sessions are over, odds are calculated and released to the public. One of the top NASCAR betting tips you will come across is understanding the bets you may place on a NASCAR race. The following are examples of common NASCAR wagers:

Outright Race Winner

Making race winners means laying a stake on a specific driver to win the race that day. These wagers provide the biggest rewards but are also the most difficult to win. Choosing race winners on a reasonably consistent basis to be lucrative is challenging. 

As there are usually multiple racecar drivers, many possible outcomes will be available, each with its own set of odds based on the driver's statistical chances of victory.

The -250 odds on Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s victory in a given race imply that a bettor must risk $250 to gain $100 if he is confident in Earnhardt's victory. If his odds were +300, you'd have to bet $100 to earn $300.

The best aspect of this kind of betting is that you may wager on numerous drivers, giving you a wider range of possibilities than with a single bet.

Driver Matchups

These wagers pit two drivers against one another in the current race, resembling money-line wagers in baseball. No matter where your driver places, you win as long as they place better than their adversary. These wagers are one of a kind, since you can win if your driver places 42nd and lose if your driver places 2nd. 

Popular drivers often amass "soft money," making matchups comparable to other forms of sports betting. Here's an example of a driver matchup market that you may encounter.

  • Denny Hamilton -170
  • Kyle Busch +135

Here, you'll need to wager $170 to win $100 on Jimmie Johnson, while betting $100 on Kyle Busch will return $135 if you're successful.

Podium Finish

In case you have never seen a racing sport or the Olympics before, the top three finishers, in any event, are awarded a spot on the podium. Betting on a driver to finish in the top three is possible in most sportsbooks, with the odds changing accordingly. If you have a favorite driver but aren't sure they can win outright, you may still bet on them finishing in the top three at lower odds.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s odds of finishing in the top three might be -650 if he had -250 odds of winning outright. If his odds of winning were +300, his odds of placing second or third might be as low as -105.

Other NASCAR Betting Odds

Here are some less common bet types you might see at your NASCAR online betting sites.

The Fastest Lap

The quickest lap is another form of wager that doesn't require any explanation: it simply refers to the driver who completes a lap in the fastest time possible. The driver doesn't need to prevail or even finish the event. They might theoretically complete a lap, spin out, and be disqualified without losing the wager.

NASCAR Futures

NASCAR futures odds let you wager on far-off outcomes, such as which driver will win the Cup Series title. These percentages will fluctuate based on each driver's performance during the season, ultimately narrowing down to those that make it to the next round of the playoffs.

Manufacturer Odds

Placing a wager on the winning car's manufacturer might be a fun way to pass the time while waiting for the finish line. These odds are calculated using the current season's performance and the driver's history of success at this track and in this particular event. For example, Chevrolets, Fords, and Toyotas compete in the Cup Series.

Stage Winners

Some online bookmakers provide odds on which driver will complete each stage of a NASCAR race, with the overall race winner determined by the total number of stages completed.

Race Props

Online bookmakers often include specials and race props for major NASCAR races like the Daytona 500. The number of wrecks, the use of warning flags, the final positions of certain drivers, and other factors may all be used to determine these odds.

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind that short- and long-term success requires careful planning and deliberate execution. If you do your homework before the race, you'll have a better chance of making educated decisions about your wagers.

Always trying to hit a windfall isn't the best NASCAR betting strategy. As with betting on any other sport, shopping around for the best NASCAR odds is in your best interest before placing your wager. Look at our recommended NASCAR online betting sites to make the most of your NASCAR betting experience.

If you want a detailed statistical analysis of race outcomes, your best bet is to look at the most recent results for each driver on the individual circuits. Look at their racing history to see how many they've competed in, how many they've won, where they've placed, and how they finished. These figures are typically provided together with a driver's overall track rating.

The track records of each squad should be researched and factored into the overall assessment.

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